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Healthy (and Quick) After School Snacks

With school start dates getting closer and closer (just a few weeks for some of us!), it's time to start planning out after school snacks that are healthy and will keep kids full and energized in between getting out of school and eating dinner.

So what's a busy mom to do? Whip up some of these quick and healthy after school snacks in advance, and be ready for snack time all week long! Here's 4 great after school snacks that are easy to make and healthy to eat.

1. Moroccan Trail Mix

Trail mix is a great after school snack, but it can get old pretty quickly. There's just not a lot of ways you can spice up trail mix to make it more interesting and different. For ingredients, you'll need: 2  15 1/2 oz cans of chickpeas that are drained; 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar; 1 tsp ground cumin; 1 tsp of paprika; 1 tsp cinnamon; 1 tsp of ground coriander; 3/4 tsp salt; 1/2 tsp of ground ginger; 1/2 tsp of ground allspice; 2 Tbsp olive oil; 1/4 cup of sesame seeds; 1 cup of unsalted almonds (whole); 1 1/2 cup of chopped dried apricots; 1 cup of pitted dates, chopped. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Next, in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, ginger, coriander, salt, and allspice into a bowl. Move half of the spice mixture to another bowl and add chickpeas and 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Toss well to coat. In the other bowl, add in almonds and sesame seeds with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Toss well. Move chickpea mixture to baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes. Once finished, add almond mixture to baking sheet and continue baking for another 20 minutes. Let it cool, and then toss in the apricots and dates. Store in an air-tight container.

2. PB&J Bites

This is an after school snack that your kid will absolutely love. After all, who doesn't love a good PB&J? And this one is simple, fun, and portable (it comes in a convenient muffin shape!). To start, you'll need a few ingredients: 1 cup of chunky peanut butter; 1/3 cup of maple syrup; 4 cups of oats; 1/2 cup of unsalted sunflower seeds; 1/2 cup quinoa; 1 12oz jar of strawberry preserves. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan over low heat, mix peanut butter, maple syrup, and 1/3 cup of water. Heat and stir until everything is melted and mixed well. In a large bowl, mix together quinoa, oats, and sunflower seeds. Pour in the peanut butter mixture and mix well. Next, line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners and fill a third of each mold with the peanut butter mixture, pressing down to push it to the bottom of the mold. Next add 2 tsp to each mold of the strawberry preserves. Finally, top with another small spoonful of the peanut butter mixture, pressing the mixture down into the tin. Bake for 30 minutes or until tops begin to turn brown. Let cool before eating!

3. Hummus and Turkey Pinwheels

Take 4 flour tortillas and lay them out flat. Spread 2 Tbsp of hummus over each tortilla. Place 2 thinly cut deli turkey slices over the bottom half of the tortilla. Layer baby spinach leaves over the top half of the tortilla. Start from the bottom, and roll tightly. Cover in saran wrap, so that the tortilla doesn't come unrolled, and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, unwrap tortillas and cut into 1 inch round slices. Serve!

4. Sweet Bagel Chips

Forget buying potato chips at the store. A much more economical and healthy alternative is to bake your own sweet bagel chips. Purchase 2-3 cinnamon raisin bagels at your local grocery store. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice bagels into thin, round slices. Lay each slice on a baking sheet, and brush lightly with melted butter. Sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar on each slice. Bake for 10 minutes. Then, take the chips out of the oven, flip them, and brush the other side with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon and sugar. Put them back into the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

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